National and International Raft races limit teams to 5 or 7 team members/paddlers that are able to compete on one team. This number is based on whether the World Rafting Championship is a 4 or 6 person competition. Even in local races, there’s only a certain amount of spaces in a boat. Often times, teams might be “full” already when you contact them to join. Don’t be discouraged. Start another team! With all of the athletic talent and access to bodies of water in the US – natural whitewater or man made (such as, OKC, Charlotte), there’s a place for you to train.
Here are some pointers for starting and recruiting a team:
KNOW what you are getting into
- what kind of race are you planning to race? this will help guide your training and give potential paddlers an idea of the goals for your team
- Seek out a mentor to discover more training ideas and advice for team dynamics
More than Racing. Be sure you convey this to your potential future teammates: WIN OR LOSE, it’s more than racing. Here are some of the benefits of being a part of a raft racing team:
- competition teaches discipline, focus, and sportmanship. Whitewater competitions specifically encourage communication development and flexible mindsets.
- river conservation and environmental awareness become paramount as you explore the country’s and world’s waterways
- spending so much time paddling on different bodies of water gives you even more understanding of hydrology
- Participating in races introduces you to people across the country and the globe with similar interests
- Training for events gives you an appreciation for your physical fitness while keeping you fit
- teamwork makes all dreams work. The principles of teamwork are exemplified through a steep learning curve from training and competing in dynamic water